In October 2016 the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment announced a new $1B Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) for high-growth Councils, including Hamilton, to help fund infrastructure necessary to 'open up' new large areas for housing. Hamilton City Council submitted three proposals; one for Peacocke Growth Cell, one for Rotokauri Growth Cell and one including both growth cells.
In July 2017, Prime Minister Bill English and Ministers Steven Joyce and Nick Smith announced the allocation of the $1B fund. Hamilton, along with Auckland, Waikato, Tauranga and Queenstown all had projects progressing to the next stage of the process (detailed businesses cases).
Hamilton has been leading the way through this process. Hamilton City Council was the first to submit the detailed business case (it's also been called the most thorough one submitted) and will be the first city to begin the work funded through the loan – the Cobham Dr/Wairere Dr interchange.
It will still be around five years or more until all the pipes are in the ground and roads are ready, including the bridge.
Initiatives outside the HIF, supporting growth, include the Housing Accord, Future Proof, District Plan zoning, the Regulatory Effectiveness and Efficiency Programme and being part of the Upper North Island Strategic Alliance.
The opportunity provided through the HIF made Peacocke the preferred option within the Council's draft 10-Year Plan due to its improved affordability along with the area's long-term housing capacity; ability to 'balance' the city with the central city returning to a geographical centre of Hamilton; proximity to essential services including the Waikato Hospital; and ability to harness cross-region work including the Southern Links road network.
The Peacocke development will enable more than 3700 new houses over the next 10 years and 8100 in 30 years. To enable these houses to be built, the Council needs to invest in strategic infrastructure (eg main roads and pipes) so developers can link subdivisions to that infrastructure.
As part of accepting the new funding, the Council sought community views on where we should grow through the 2018-28 10-Year Plan consultation. Of those who gave feedback, 73% favoured developing Peacocke.
The Council's final 10-Year Plan was signed off in June 2018 confirming the commitment to develop Peacocke with the HIF funding.
What funding was secured?
Hamilton's successful bid for Peacocke was for $290.4M made up of $180.3M from the Government's 10-Year interest-free loan and $110.1M of NZ Transport Agency subsidies.
Note: Additional NZ Transport Agency funding was secured for the Wairere/Cobham Dr interchange following the completion of the business case so the figures have changed slightly.
How do we pay back the HIF loan?
The Council's financial strategy aims to have growth pay for growth. This means the HIF loan, which enables housing to be built, will have the majority paid back by developers through Development Contributions.
Around 90% will come from Development Contributions and 10% through rates.
The Council are also engaging with developers to have signed agreements confirming funding contributions towards the cost of the bridge, roads and pipes, and plans for delivering the housing end of the project.
Useful links and documents
The HIF Detailed Business Case looks at the strategic, economic, commercial, financial and management aspects of developing the Peacocke growth area.
Click here to download a copy of the Peacocke development two-page summary and map. (PDF, 279KB)
Click here to download a copy of the Detailed Business Case's Executive Summary. (PDF, 1.16MB)
Click here to download a copy of the full Detailed Business Case. (PDF, 6.2MB)
Click here to download a copy of the Detailed Business Case's appendices. (PDF, 18.5MB)